On CBS’s wildly popular television series NCIS, Leroy Jethro Gibbs (portrayed by Mark Harmon) leads the NCIS Major Case Response Team. As an ex-marine sniper with a distinguished career, Gibbs has a series of “rules” that he lives his life by and often takes the opportunity to teach his team to follow the same rules. For example rule #6 is "Never apologize, it's a sign of weakness".
Though I doubt Gibb's rule #6 would work in your center, here are some rules for running a call center (head slaps not included).
- The customer isn’t always right but most of the time they are.
- Call center agents are smart. Let them do their jobs.
- No one knows your customers better than your agents.
- People first, technology second.
- Adaptability first, optimization second.
- Technology cannot solve everything.
- Don’t over-automate, the world changes too fast.
- Never let anyone tell you how to do your job but take advice willingly.
- Don’t ever forget the bottom line.
- Always have a backup plan.
- Measure what you want to improve.
- Ask for feedback, and act on it.
- Sweat the small stuff.
- You don’t have to be responsive to all of your customers, only the ones you want to keep.
- Some customers are simply not worth it.
I will continue to refine these rules and I welcome any comments or suggestions.